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Retailers urge abolition of import tariffs on clothing
05
Oct '11
Retailers in Australia have urged the Federal Government to abolish import tariffs on clothing in view of the ongoing difficulties faced by the retail sector in the country.

The demand has been put forward by the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA), whose members include Best & Less and David Jones. The Association has called on the Government to consider its request as the retail sector in the country employs a large workforce and the sector is currently passing through a difficult phase which might lead to job losses.

Retail sector in Australia employs 1.2 million people and it created 16,800 jobs during the 12 months ending August 2011. During the same period, however, the sector witnessed collapse of some retail chains including the Colorado clothing chain.

Owing to reduced discretionary spending by consumers, sales in the retail sector have declined by 7.5 percent year-on-year during the period and profit margins have also decreased.

The customs duty on apparel imports was last reduced in January 2010, when the import tariff was reduced to 10 percent from the earlier 17.5 percent. The import duty on clothing is next scheduled to be decreased to 5 percent in 2015.

However, the current tariff rates do not apply to online retailers from abroad as they trade under the Government's AUD 1000 GST-free threshold for imports.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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